04 March 2015

In a data visualization, every element is encoding something. Placement, spacing, color, height, width, area – each has meaning. But what meaning?

The Data Visualization Catalog is a great resource for thinking through encoding.

Hands on

We’re going to start with a simple chart project. Rachel can tell us where she got this data, but …

Criminal Deportations

Region and country of nationality,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
El Salvador,2805,2827,3850,4949,5558,6344,8368,8507,8674,9440

Child Migrant Apprehensions

Country,FY 2009,FY 2010,FY 2011,FY 2012,FY 2013,FY 2014,FY 2015
El Salvador,1221,1910,1394,3314,5990,16404,1797

Your first step is going to be to copy this into a spreadsheet and if it doesn’t immediately break into columns, use Data > Text to Columns to break it out. As ever, read all dialogs closely. Understand, don’t just click “okay”

We’re going to use a few mechanisms to re-arrange these numbers so we can try charting them in …

Charts and things has a nice post on choosing the best form.

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

© Spring 2015 Amanda Hickman